Profiling Portugal’s Lubes


LISBON – Lubricant demand in Portugal rebounded a bit in 2007, rising 4 percent from the year before to 84,000 metric tons, an official from Galp Energia said during an industry meeting here April 22. That number still represented a drop of 27 percent from the demand of 115,664 tons registered in 1998.

Galps Paula Gomes added a caveat to the national demand statistics in her presentation to the European Lubricating Grease Institutes Annual General Meeting, stating that the General Directorate of Energy and Geology, which reports the data, does not have reliable information about the amount of lubricants imported from neighboring Spain.

Portugal is a small lubricants market, accounting for less than 2 percent of Europes 4.5 million tons of annual demand. Automotive lubes comprise 53 percent of the market, compared to 45 percent for the industrial segment and 2 percent for greases.

Gomes said Galp (Petrleos e Gs de Portugal SGPS, S.A.) is the market leader, with 26 percent of the market, though she did not identify other companies ranking near the top. She did provide a breakdown of the companys grease business, which claims 30 percent of the countrys market. Conventional lithium greases account for a bit more than 90 percent of the companys grease sales, with more than half of that portion being greases sold for extreme pressure applications. Lithium complex greases make up approximately 7 percent, with other types accounting for the remainder of sales.

Gomes said Galp has one blending plant with capacity to make 80,000 tons of lubricants per year. Actual production was 28,000 tons in 2007, or 35 percent of capacity. The companys grease plant has capacity to make 2,000 tons per year and produced 1,430 tons last year.

Galpand ExxonMobil Mediterranea s.r.l.recently signed an agreement for the sale of shares of Esso Espanola, S.L. and ExxonMobil Portugal Holdings BV, owner of Esso Portuguesa LDA, to Galp. The sale includes transfer of most of ExxonMobils lubricants businesses in the two countries to Galp.

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